Cover photo for Rebecca Drane Warren's Obituary
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Rebecca

Rebecca Drane Warren

d. February 7, 2024

   Rebecca Drane Warren died peacefully in her sleep on February 7, 2024, having suffered a stroke three years earlier.  Though physically limited after the stroke, her mind and spirit remained remarkably sharp and strong, and she enjoyed regular visits from loved ones.  She was sustained by the fruits of her lifelong gift for friendship, and she relished the many letters and acts of kindness from dear friends and family.  She and her daughters were grateful for the excellent and compassionate care she received at Carol Woods Retirement Community in Chapel Hill, NC.

   Rebecca was born in Fairbanks, Alaska in 1925.  She was the daughter of the Rev Frederick Blount Drane and Rebecca Wood Drane, Episcopal missionaries in the Yukon.  As the daughter of the Archdeacon of the Yukon, she was always proud of her Alaskan heritage.  But she left Alaska when she was three months old, as her parents acknowledged the hardships of raising an infant there.  The family returned to North Carolina, where her father discovered he had tuberculosis, and they spent two years in Asheville, as he recovered.   After that, her childhood was spent in Monroe, NC, where her father was rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.   She attended Monroe public schools, and she graduated from St. Mary’s College in Raleigh and then from UNC Chapel Hill.

   Following college, she spent the next few years tutoring polio patients in NC, working in childcare in NYC, and doing editorial work at the UNC Press.  Then she returned to her native Alaska and worked as a medical mission secretary at the Hudson Stuck Memorial Hospital in Fort Yukon.  She stayed close to her Alaskan Episcopal church connections all her life.  

   After a year at Fort Yukon, she said she “traded the midnight sun for the Carolina moon,” and came back to UNC for a Masters in Library Science.  She worked in the Lexington Public Library, and later served as a trustee of the Shepard-Pruden Memorial Library in Edenton, NC.

   She married David Minton Warren, Jr in 1953 and lived in Edenton, NC.  Following his death in 1966, she and her three young children moved to Chapel Hill, NC.  As she raised her three girls, she also managed family property in Edenton.  She was active in the Chapel of the Cross and served as secretary to the vestry for several years.  

   One of her favorite parts of living in Chapel Hill was offering wonderful meals and a touch of home to many UNC students from Edenton.  She even provided coveted parking spaces for UNC football games at Kenan Stadium, which was so close that she could hear the roar of the crowd at touchdowns.  Her many friends enjoyed her hospitality, her faithful correspondence, and her unique wit.  She was a wry observer, always curious and perceptive. 

   Though born in Alaska, Rebecca had deep roots in North Carolina.  She cataloged and preserved a great deal of her family’s history, and she contributed important papers to the Southern Historical Collection and the North Carolina Collection at UNC.  She donated her father’s papers and photographs to the Archives at the Rasmuson Library at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, providing a unique resource to the people of interior Alaska.

   She enjoyed being a resident at Carol Woods for the past thirty years, surrounded by friends old and new.  She was predeceased by her parents, husband, and her sister, Frances Drane Inglis.  She is survived by her dear friend Francis Newton, and daughters Brabble Hoffman (Mark), Rebecca Miles (Jeff), and Caroline Banka (Marc), grandchildren Nicholas and Scott Hoffman, Travis and Danielle Banka, and 2 great grandchildren.

   In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent to: The Episcopal Diocese of Alaska, 1205 Denali Way, Fairbanks, AK 99701 or Carol Woods Charitable Fund, 750 Weaver Dairy Rd, Chapel Hill, NC 27514-9884 or the charity of your choice.

   The funeral will be held on Friday, February 23, 2024, at 2 pm at the Carol Woods Assembly Hall, 750 Weaver Dairy Rd, Chapel Hill, NC. Reception to follow in the Social Lounge.  Committal of her ashes will take place on Saturday, February 24 at 2 pm at Beaver Hill Cemetery, Edenton, NC.  Reception to follow at the Homestead.  


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Friday, February 23, 2024

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Saturday, February 24, 2024

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